First Amendment News

Online entertainment service wins First Amendment case

A federal appeals court dropped the curtain on California’s law allowing performers to fight age discrimination by redacting age information on IMDb, an online database for the entertainment industry. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court’s finding that the law was too restrictive and not narrowly tailored to address the issue of age discrimination without damaging free speech rights. (The Hollywood Reporter, June 19, 2020, by Ashley Cullins) The Screen

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Prior restraint:Trump administration sues to block Bolton memoir

the Trump administration is accusing former national security adviser John Bolton of foregoing a complete government review of his sensational memoir of his service in the White House. In filing a lawsuit to delay publication, the administration said Bolton agreed to the review when he first signed up for the job. Bolton’s lawyer said the book contained embarrassing information about President Donald Trump but nothing concerning national security. (The New York Times, June 16, 2020,

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Facebook accused of hypocrisy in free speech stance

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made a strong free speech statement in refusing to censor President Donald Trump’s questionable posts on Black Lives Matter protests, but Middle East activists and journalists claim their accounts have been dumped during the last few months. One journalist said Facebook only backed fee speech when it was politically advantageous. Syrian journalist Mohammed Asakra had his account deleted in May along with those of activists who documented the human rights abuses of

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Trump flops on accountability for pandemic relief spending

Inspectors General are alarmed at the Trump administration’s blocking accountability for its spending on pandemic relief programs. No one is sure which companies are receiving huge grants of public funds. Two Inspectors General recently sent a letter to congressional committee chairs to warn that Trump had curtailed independent oversight of Cares Act funding. (The Washington Post, June 15, 2020, by Tom Hamburger, Jeff Stein, Jonathan O’Connell and Aaron Gregg) Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Congress

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Federal appeals court finds Charleston tour guide law violates First Amendment

A federal appeals court ruled that Charleston could not enforce an ordinance forcing guides to study a guide and pass a test to obtain a license to conduct tours of the city’s historic districts. The court found that the ordinance violates the First Amendment by restricting speech, “…it completely prohibits unlicensed tour guides from leading visitors on paid tours—an activity which, by its very nature, depends upon speech or expressive conduct. Although we acknowledge that

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